Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis in Arizona
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What is non-alcoholic steatohepatitis?
Beginning in 1980, scientists noticed changes on liver biopsies in non-drinkers that resembled liver damage seen in chronic alcoholics. Excess fat cells were present in addition to signs of necrosis (dying liver cells) and inflammation. The condition was labeled non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH. The presence of necrosis makes NASH a much more severe form of fatty liver disease. NASH patients are at an increased risk of progression to cirrhosis (where scar tissue builds up in the liver). If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with or is at significant risk for developing NASH, then please request a consultation at Arizona Digestive Health. Our skilled gastroenterologists in Phoenix, AZ can help you on the path to better digestive health.
What are the risk factors and symptoms of NASH?
Certain conditions put people at an increased risk for developing NASH. These conditions include:
- Type II diabetes
- Obesity – typically more than 10 percent over ideal weight
- High blood fats, especially high triglyceride levels
- Taking certain drugs like prednisone, estrogen, amiodarone, and tamoxifen
- Intestinal bypass for obesity
- Extensive surgical removal of the small intestine
- Total parenteral nutrition (TPN)
There are often no outward signs of NASH until the disease has progressed to cirrhosis of the liver. When symptoms are experienced they can include:
- Loss of apetite
- Itchy skin
- Mild abdominal pain
If you are experiencing any combination of the above symptoms or are at elevated risk for developing NASH, please request a consultation with our providers at Arizona Digestive Health. Our gastroenterologists have experience in the treatment of NASH in Phoenix, AZ.
What are the treatments for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis?
As there is no cure or therapy known to reverse fatty liver disease, treatment is typically aimed at addressing the underlying cause of the illness. Medications that may be causing NASH should be discontinued or changed if possible. Diabetes should be effectively managed and blood sugar levels better controlled. Persons with high serum cholesterol and triglycerides would be advised on methods to reduce those chemicals. Patients who are obese are typically advised to lose weight through a diet and exercise program that Arizona Digestive Health providers can help supervise. Some reports suggest the use of ursodeoxycholic acid (URSO), a natural bile salt, may be beneficial. If you require treatment for NASH in Phoenix, AZ, please request a consultation with our team to learn more.
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Advanced options for patients with NASH
If you are diagnosed with or at significant risk for NASH, then it is crucial for you to partner with an expert gastroenterologist who can help monitor and treat your condition. Arizona Digestive Health is partnered with the nation's leading physician-led network of gastroenterologists and is dedicated to providing patient-centric care that uses the latest in innovative treatment techniques. For more information about the treatments available for NASH in Phoenix, AZ, request a consultation at our location.
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